Seelos Academy graduates get surprise send-off
Friday, May 1, 2020 | 12:27 PM
The eighth grade year in a traditional Catholic Elementary school is something to look forward to. The oldest in a preschool through eighth grade building comes with many privileges; special field trips, leads in the school musical, leadership in the student council, and ending the year just a little bit earlier than the rest of the school. As the students at Blessed Francis Seelos Academy were about to enter their final quarter in the red brick building on Church Road in Wexford, their excitement came to a screeching halt. The Covid-19 Outbreak forced this tight group of friends to say a premature good-bye to the school building and classmates and complete their school year from their homes through remote learning.
Just like so many other students across the country, these students graciously put aside their desire for a celebratory end to their final year for the well-being of the country. Without complaint, they adapted to their new way of learning; now seeing their classmates through on-line classes and not during jovial discussions in the lunchroom.
On a dreary April day however, the 38 students felt connected to their school and friends once again when they were surprised with “Congratulations Graduate” signs placed on their lawns. Such a little gesture, but one that brought so may smiles to the students faces. Perhaps not the sendoff that they were expecting prior to the quarantine, but a unique sendoff and a reminder of the very special Seelos Academy Community that they are leaving behind. “I was so excited to receive my sign! It’s been hard ending my time at Seelos this way, but this reminded me how much everyone cares about us,” said eighth grade student Mary Narvett, who began her school career at the building ten years ago in preschool.
Tara Aiello, a parent of students in fifth and seventh grade and a Catholic Elementary School graduate herself, coordinated the printing of the signs and spent the day driving through six of the nine school districts that the school serves to discreetly place the signs in the graduates’ yards. “We are hoping that the students and families see these signs as a reminder that the Seelos Community loves and celebrates them.” She had some help from her daughters, too. “We feel bad that the eighth graders will probably have to miss their graduation, so we thought we’d bring the graduation fun to them,” said Mia Aiello, fifth grade.
The surprise also allowed the girls a change of scenery of their while in quarantine. “What better reason to leave the house right now than to surprise the eighth grade graduates,” said Alex Aiello. “It was fun to see their reaction to the surprise when they caught us delivering.”